Barley risotto with asparagus

    30 min

    This risotto made with barley and asparagus is a lovely alternative to the classic dish. I prefer to roast the asparagus instead of boiling it so the spears still have a bit of a crunch. Unlike rice, barley will not release as much starch. However, adding finely grated Parmesan will make it taste just as creamy.

    1 person made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided
    • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
    • 1 shallot, finely minced
    • 300g pearl barley
    • 125ml of white wine
    • 800ml of hot vegetable stock
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 2 or 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

    Prep:10min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Line a baking tray with foil.
    2. Arrange asparagus spears in one layer on the lined tin. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over asparagus and season with salt; roast in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are crispy around the edges but still have a bit of a bite. Slice into bite-size pieces and set aside.
    3. Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat; add minced shallot and cook to soften, about 1 minute. Add the barley and stir to coat in oil. Stir in wine and let liquid evaporate. Start adding the hot vegetable stock, a ladle at a time, stirring constantly, until liquid has been absorbed each time. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    4. Add roasted asparagus and stir to warm through. Add grated Parmesan; stir risotto and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

    Parmesan cheese:

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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